Korean Govemment Employees' Union
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[Oct. 6] Violent Suppression of the Korean Government Employees Union (KGEU)
date : 2006/10/10 hit : 9731

TO:      Honorable Roh Moo Hyun
President of the Republic of Korea
Blue House, Seoul, South Korea


CC:      Minister Lee Sang-Soo

The Ministry of Labour



From:   Asian TNCs Monitoring Network  



RE: Violent Suppression of the Korean Government Employees Union (KGEU)


Dear President Roh

ATNC Monitoring Network is a labour solidarity network that consists of 20 labour and human right organisations and trade unions in 12 Asian countries. We are writing to express our concerns about the current suppression of Korean Government Employees Union in Korea.

We are concerned by numerous reports that the South Korean government has been utilising violent methods to destroy the Korean Government Employees Union (KGEU) that represents voices of government employees who are facing increasingly precarious and insecure working conditions under the so-called state sector reform of the current government. In particular, we are outraged by the attempts of your government to shut down all the offices of KGEU. It is widely known in international community that riot police and hired thugs used fire extinguishers, fire-fighting dust, hammers, claw hammers, hammer drills, and power saws against unionists of KGEU who were desperately try to protect their union offices.

On the other hand, the way in which the government achieved the so-called grand tripartite agreement showed the real nature of your labour reform. Your government, rather than striving to reach a consensus by taking full consideration of deteriorating working and living conditions of workers, cowardly used the traditional divide-and-rule methods against trade unions by effectively excluding the KCTU and dastardly working with FKTU. This certainly reminds all of us of the days of suppression by the military governments in Korea who only cared about profits of corporations at the expense of people. We are sadly witnessing a backward development in Korea's democracy by the very government who claims to be people's government.

In March of this year, the Governing Body of the ILO approved the interim report made by the Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA). Apparently, the South Korea case was the longest of outstanding case within the CFA aside from one filed against Columbia. The recommendations raised serious concerns on the government's repressions against trade unions, specifically KGEU and the Korean Federation of Construction Industry Trade Unions (KFCITU). However, your government not only has refused to implement these recommendations but more importantly it has chosen to intensify its attacks on the KGEU and the KFCITU. These barbaric acts undermined the validity of internationally recognised labour standards of ILO and, thereby, challenged labour and human rights not only of Korean people, but also of all the workers and citizens who have rights to be protected by the international labour standards.

We are witnessing an irony that, while the Korean government is bullying the international labour standard and ridiculing recommendations of ILO that is a UN organisation, Korea's minister of international affair is winning the post of the General Secretary of the United Nations. Having seen this ironical development, now we are deeply concerned about the nature of UN under the Korean leadership. How can a person, who has been working with a government which repeatedly ignores the authority of a UN organisation, be a leader of UN?   

We strongly urge you to immediately stop the violence against KGEU and allow government employees to enjoy their freedom of association and right to collective action according to international labour standards. We are also urging you to release all the arrested members and supporters of KGEU right now. Those responsible for cracking-down of the unionists of KGEU need to be brought to justice. We are expecting that your government will do its best to meet the desperate demands of the workers and stop cracking down the unionists. Otherwise, we believe that your government will be facing strong criticism from the international community of trade unions and human rights organisations and recorded in the history as another dishonourable government in South Korea whose great economic development was possible only at the expense of millions of workers and their family. We will be closely monitoring the situation until this matter is resolved and will not hesitate mobilise actions against further violation of labour rights by the Korean government.



Dae-oup Chang

Campaign Coordinator, Asian TNCs Monitoring Network



No Subject Name Date Hit
51 [Oct. 6] Violent Suppression of the Korean Government Employees Union (KGEU) Asian... 2006-10-10 9731
50 [Oct. 4] Forceful closing down of KGEU offices nation wide CAW 2006-10-10 6690
49 [Oct. 1] Declaration of Assembly of Social Movements : Solidarity to KGEU Assem... 2006-10-10 9072
48 [Sep. 29] CGT-UGFF Protest Letter to Korean Government CGT-U... 2006-10-04 7767
47 [Sep. 28] ICTUR Protest Letter to Korean Government ICTUR 2006-10-04 8063
46 [Sep. 26, Protest letter] Nation wide attacks on KGEU offices and arrest of union members ST 2006-10-04 7184
44 [Sep. 26] Solidarity Message WFTU 2006-10-04 32697
43 [Sep. 27, SWAZILAND] Message of Solidarity SNACS 2006-10-04 7051
42 [Sep. 22, PSI-JC Protest letter] Nation wide attacks on KGEU offices and arrest of union members PSI-J... 2006-10-04 7478

664, Gukhoe-daero, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea       07247

Tel.: +82-2-2631-1948 Fax.: +82-2-2631-1949 Email: interkgeu@gmail.com